Daily Pampering: The Ardbeg Double Barrel Experience

Ardbeg USA is offering a travel package that scotch-lovers won’t want to miss — that is, if they can come up with a cool $20,000.

This chocolatey bespoke leather rifle case repurposed as a gift box for two single cask bottlings of 1974 Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky (so you can taste the difference between casks), as well as silver chalices, tasting notebooks and matching Omas pen, is just one of the perks of the Ardbeg Double Barrel Experience. Beyond tasting the peaty, seductively floral notes of the “ultimate Islay single malt,” purchase of this hand-made gun case includes a VIP trip for two to the Ardbeg distillery, complete with a private tour and a private tasting with a member of the whisky creation team.

The trip includes airfare to the isle of Islay, airport transfer to and from the hotel, accommodation, two breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner. To contact an Ardbeg representative with your interest, call 212-251-8200.
Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.

[Photo credit: Annie Scott]

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk – Orlando, Florida

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 17 – Click above to watch video after the jump

It’s no secret that Orlando is the top city for tourism in the United States – but Orlando has more to offer than theme parks & thrill rides. If you’re planning a trip to Orlando this summer, then tune in this week as we sample Orlando’s high life – and the younger, wilder side that draws families in from all over the world.

In this episode, we discuss Orlando’s history as a tourism destination and why Walt Disney chose to build an empire in central Florida. As we explore the finer side of the city we’ll show you where to practice your golf swing, how to properly cut a cigar, and we get a special tour of the Macallan from brand ambassador Eden Algie.

Stay tuned on Friday as we witness a live Shuttle launch, ride rollercoasters, and teach Stephen how to wakeboard!

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

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Want to get instruction from a PGA Pro while in Orlando? Check out the Brad Brewer Academy at Shingle Creek.
For an introduction to everything about Cigars, check out the Corona Cigar Club in downtown Orlando.

And a special thanks to Eden Algie and the Macallan for taking us through a tour of some of Scotland’s finest whisky!

Hosts: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea
Special Guests: Eden Algie, Brad Brewer.

Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea

All music used in partnership with nonstopmusic.com

Theater, art, and Haggis! A guide to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Each week, Gadling is taking a look at our favorite festivals around the world. From music festivals to cultural showcases to the just plain bizarre, we hope to inspire you to do some festival exploring of your own. Come back each Wednesday for our picks or find them all HERE.

Known as the “largest festival on Earth, Scotland’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival has something for everyone. From students donning kilts wanting to groove to the newest Jazz singers to street performers on stilts, this annual festival is an adventure where the energy flows into the streets and makes everyone feel like a performing artist for the day. The Fringe has come a long way: from its 1947 beginnings with only eight theater companies, to the present day festival, which sells over 1.8 million tickets each year! Tourists now travel from around the globe to experience this extraordinary event.

Begun by the Festival Fringe Society as an “open access festival” allowing unrestricted exhibition by anyone interested in performing, the modern version of the festival now features some of the world’s most unique and avant-garde artistic and theatrical pursuits. The shows range from dramatic Shakespeare told from the perspective of dinosaurs to puppets singing show tunes. However, the performances are only half of the experience that comes along with the price of the ticket. What else happens at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? Keep reading below.

With over 34,000 performances taking place over three weeks, the word ‘venue’ takes on a whole new meaning at the Edinburgh Fringe. The performance spaces range from a traditional stage to more progressive bars to classrooms with floor seating to places not so appealing like toilets!

Shows start all throughout the day and run long into the night, so every attendee should pick up a program. Treat the program like your tour guide for the length of your visit. Inside you’ll get reviews, a synopsis and location information for each show. Grab a scone and your program and hike up to Arthur’s Seat, the highest point in the city, for a panoramic city view and chart out each day. Since performances vary a great deal in length and are located all throughout the city, double check your times and locations before buying tickets.

Though the offerings of the Fringe Festival change every year, the one show that is on the top of every must-see list is the Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, a 90-minute celebration lead by over a thousand musicians and ending with fireworks. Tickets for the event are in high demand every year, so make sure to buy those tickets in advance. When it’s over, walk to a pub and have yourself a “dram” of Scotch while trying the Haggis (a Scottish tradition of a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs mixed with spices) and tasting the tatties (potatoes). Like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it’s a one-of-a-kind Scottish experience!

This year the festival is scheduled from August 6-30th. Follow on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on the latest happenings of the Fringe!

Whiskey buried beneath the Antarctic ice for 100 year to be recovered

Ever wanted to try a 100 year old Scotch chilled to perfection? Than listen up, this story is for you!

According to this article from the BBC, the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has announced plans to retrieve a pair of crates buried in the Antarctic ice following a failed attempted to reach the South Pole more than a century ago. The crates contain bottles of McKinlay and Co whiskey, and were first discovered back in 2006 beneath the remains of a hut built to shelter explorers from the harsh polar climate. That expedition, led by Ernest Shackleton, came within 97 miles of reaching the Pole before turning back, leaving equipment and supplies, including the whiskey, behind to lighten their load and speed their progress.

The Trust hopes to recover the whiskey, and restore the bottles, before placing them in another one of Shackleton’s huts located on Cape Royd. The organization is slowly rebuilding that hut so that it exactly resembles the condition it was in when the famed explorer and his team set off on their epic journey.

Of course, the Trust isn’t the only one interested in recovering the crates from the ice. Whyte and Mackay, the distiller that now owns the McKinlay whiskey brand, hopes to get their hands on a bottle as well. This particular blend has been out of circulation for decades, and they would like the opportunity to recreate it and beginning selling it again too.

Shackleton was one of the foremost polar explores of his day, and at the time of the expedition, he was locked in a desperate race to become the first man to reach the South Pole. He would eventually lose that race to Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, but his exploits in the Antarctic would continue for years to come. In 1914 his ship, the Endurance, became trapped in the pack ice, and Shackleton and his crew spent 10 months at the mercy of the shifting ice. Eventually, the ship was crushed, and all hands were forced to abandon ship. It would be another five months before they were rescued, but not a single life was lost on the expedition, making it one of the greatest survival stories of all times, and cementing Shackleton’s place in exploration history.

Is Scotch the World’s Most Popular Liquor?

Airlines are suffering, as are a majority of businesses that supply luxury goods. Scotch, however, is not among the sad faces. The BBC reports that the U.K.’s most famous beverage is enjoying a 14% increase in exports over the past year. Are people drowning their sorrows? Surely there are cheaper ways to forget your pains.

Many of the new markets for high quality scotch are in Asia. Brands like Chivas Regal are a status symbol amongst the new money of China. That puts them ahead of many other luxury brands looking to cash in on the growing middle class. But sales are even high in North America and other long time scotch buyers.

This begs the question: is scotch the world’s most popular liquor? Every region of the globe has their own brand of rotgut. But when a certain type of beverage has success like scotch has enjoyed recently, one has to wonder. In Mexico and on college campuses, Cuervo rules, but what if you take the whole world into account, it has to be scotch. Am I right, readers?